Are you always a bit anxious at the supermarket checkout until the verdict falls? Say what: 200 euros for the whole cart? Help! What were you thinking? Those kids make you poor with their cornflakes, cookies and bananas. Plus the cava was 1 + 1 free. So pack it up! Yep, that’s how your money flies by every month. We found, however, a family with two children that spends an average of only 40 euros on their weekly shopping cart. Wow! We were allowed to browse through the spending habits of a number of families. This time we chat with Cilia. Together with her Portuguese boyfriend she has two sons. Moreover, they barely spend any money in the supermarket. How is that possible? Be sure to read on!
Permaculture for the win!
Permawhat? Right, we thought so too. We like to let Cilia explain. Cilia: “My friend and I got to know each other while traveling. We discovered that we are both very idealistic. We prefer not to join the rat race, but to live closer to nature. Two children later, we are busy building on that dream. We moved from Brussels to the countryside especially for this purpose. My boyfriend also studied to become a permaculture designer. This means that you are doing agriculture in an ecologically sustainable way without damaging nature. We go for a variety of fruit and vegetables in our vegetable garden and greenhouses. We are also building a food forest and we have chicken. Our goal is to live as self-sufficient as possible. That already works reasonably well! “
Low impact family
Wow, sturdy little project. Would it ever be the intention to go completely off the grid? Cilia: “We don’t intend to be hermits, you know. With our lifestyle we just want to have as little impact on nature as possible. It gives me a great feeling when I can fill the children’s plates with our own harvest. Plus a glass of homemade vegetable milk! We still go to the store about every one or two weeks. Then we arrive with an average of 40 euros, especially during summer. We buy mostly non-food. But I do make all my own soap and other natural care products. I also give workshops about it.
On your own feet?
40 euros, that’s not much! We also wondered if Cilia and her boyfriend can live from their project? Cilia: “No, not at the moment. I work as a psychologist and my boyfriend is working in the construction industry. In the future we would love to be able to stand on our own two feet thanks to our knowledge. We are working on it very hard. My friend can give advice and help set up permaculture projects. I can give all kinds of ecological workshops. That doesn’t necessarily have to be in Belgium. Who knows, we might even go to Portugal someday. In any case, it’s fantastic to be able to offer the children this kind of quality of life. Being outside together a lot and helping mom and dad. Isn’t that wonderful?“
Investing in nature and yourself
Cilia: “By now we are used to living frugally. This way we try to put money aside for our future dreams. Of course, seeds and plants for the vegetable garden and the forest cost a lot of money, but that reimburses itself. We also invest a lot in books and training. I do have one guilty pleasure: I spend a lot of money on terracotta pots. I just can’t resist it. My boyfriend says I’ve already sponsored Aveve enough, haha!”
Decode your spending? Piece of cake!
Do you have any idea how much money you spend every month at the supermarket? Or where your money flows to in general? We do. The Cake app gives you a handy monthly overview of your most important spendings. Plus, you can make some money yourself. Huh? This blog post explains everything! You don’t have to change banks, because Cake works with your existing bank account(s). Want to try Cake right away? You can download the app for free from Apple’s App store or from Google Play. Curious to know what you can learn from it!
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